ACC Football Players of the Week: Standouts in Week 12

acc footballThe ACC Football Players of the Week have been recognized following their standout performances in last weekend’s games.

The selections are determined by a vote of a 15-member media panel. The following are this week’s honorees:

​QUARTERBACK – Kenny Pickett, Pitt, Jr., QB, Oakhurst, N.J.
Threw for 359 yards and accounted for three total touchdowns, including a three-yard run on the opening possession of overtime that proved to be the difference in Pitt’s 34-27 win over North Carolina • Ran for two scores and threw a 74-yard touchdown pass • Completed 25 of 41 passes with no interceptions and rushed for 53 yards on 12 carries • Totaled 412 of the Panthers’ season-high 498 yards • Two-time ACC Quarterback of the Week in 2019.

RUNNING BACK – Travis Etienne, Clemson, Jr., RB, Jennings, La.
Named ACC Running Back of the Week for the fourth time this season and second week in a row • Rushed 16 times for 121 yards and a touchdown, and also caught three passes for 37 yards in Saturday’s 52-3 win over Wake Forest • Took sole possession of the school record for consecutive 100-yard rushing games with his sixth in a row, surpassing five-game streaks by Kenny Flowers (1985) and Raymond Priester (1996-97).

RECEIVER – Dazz Newsome, North Carolina, Jr., WR, Hampton, Va.
Registered career highs with 11 catches and 170 receiving yards and scored his seventh touchdown of the season in the Tar Heels’ loss at Pitt on Thursday night • The 11 catches are the most by a Tar Heel receiver since Ryan Switzer had 13 against NC State in 2016 • Newsome has now surpassed 100 receiving yards in three of his last four games.

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN – Dakota Davis, Syracuse, So., RG, Mount Airy, Md.
Graded out the highest of Syracuse’s starting front five in the Orange’s 49-6 win at Duke • Did not allow a sack and collected a team-high five knockdowns in 56 snaps to help the Orange earn its first ACC win of the season • Opened holes for two 100-yard rushers, as both Moe Neal and Jarveon Howard finished with 115 yards on the ground • Paved the way for an Orange offense that averaged 6.7 yards per play against the Blue Devils and set season highs for both rushing yards (286) and rushing touchdowns (4).

DEFENSIVE LINEMAN – Jaylen Twyman, Pitt, So., DT, Washington, D.C.
Led Pitt’s potent pass rush in the overtime win over North Carolina with 2.5 sacks for losses totaling 15 yards • Had an additional quarterback pressure • Biggest play came in overtime when he dropped UNC QB Sam Howell for a five-yard loss, pushing the Tar Heels into a fourth-and-16 that they could not convert, ending the game • Has 9.5 sacks on the year, the most by a Pitt interior defensive lineman since Aaron Donald had 11 during his All-America senior season in 2013 • Ranks seventh nationally (second in the ACC) with an average of 0.95 sacks per game.

CO-LINEBACKER – Dorian Etheridge, Louisville, Jr., LB, Charleston, W. Va.
Made his first career interception in the second quarter of Saturday night’s 34-20 road win at NC State • Finished the game with a season-high 11 tackles • Helped the Cardinals hold the Wolfpack to 134 yards rushing and 377 yards of total offense.

CO-LINEBACKER – Lakiem Williams, Syracuse, Sr., MLB, Tacoma, Wash.
Posted his third consecutive double-digit tackle game, making a team-best 14 stops in the Orange’s 49-6 victory at Duke • Added 2.5 tackles for loss, one sack and one quarterback hurry to help Syracuse secure its first conference win of the season • Keyed a defense that held the Blue Devils without a touchdown and limited them to 279 yards of offense on 85 plays (3.3 avg.), while forcing three turnovers that led to 21 Syracuse points • Williams ranks fourth in the ACC in tackles per game (9.1).

DEFENSIVE BACK – Hamsah Nasirildeen, Florida State, Jr., S, Concord, N.C.
Named ACC Defensive Back of the Week for the third time in four weeks • Led FSU with 11 tackles and had an 80-yard interception return for a touchdown in Saturday’s win over Alabama State that secured bowl eligibility • Defensive touchdown was the first of his career and first for the Seminoles this season • Second ACC player this year with 10-plus tackles and an interception return for a touchdown in the same game • Has 33 tackles over the past two games and leads FSU with 96.

SPECIALIST – AJ Reed, Duke, Jr., PK, Prattville, Ala.
Converted field goals of 31 yards and a career-best 51 yards versus Syracuse • Became the sixth player in Duke history to record multiple field goals of 50-or more yards in a season • Only ACC kicker with three field goals of 49-or-more yards in 2019 • His .846 field goal percentage is tops among league kickers with at least one made field goal of 50-or-more yards • One of only two kickers in the ACC with multiple field goals of 50–or-more yards this season.

ROOKIE – Sam Howell, North Carolina, Fr., QB, Indian Trail, N.C.
Five-time ACC Rookie of the Week tossed three touchdown passes in the overtime loss at Pitt to give him 29 for the season, the third-most in ACC history by a freshman • Threw for 322 yards to move past T.J. Yates for the most passing yards by a UNC freshman quarterback with 2,794 yards • Howell and Ohio State’s Justin Fields are the only two FBS quarterbacks who have thrown multiple touchdown passes in 10 consecutive games this season.

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